If you follow news in any way, shape, or form, I am almost positive you have heard about North Carolina’s House Bill 2, conveniently referenced as the “Bathroom Bill”. For those of you that may still be unaware of its purpose, I will give you a brief run over.
The bill, proposed by North Carolina lawmakers, suggests that all people – specifically those that identify as transgender – must use the bathroom facilities that correspond directly to the gender they were given/assigned at birth. Essentially, if you have a whingding, you use the little boys’room and if you have a hoohaa, you use the little girls’.
Now, you may be wondering, ‘What exactly is a transgendered person?’ A transgendered person is an individual who identifies as the opposite gender they were born as. So, a woman who identifies as a man and chooses to live her life as a man – to the best of her ability – is a transgendered man. The same goes for a man who wishes to be a woman. Now, there is a host of other sexual identity concepts and beliefs I could get into, but for the purposes of this article I will just leave it at that. A transgender person is a person who wishes to live life as the opposite gender that he or she was born biologically as.
How Does This Apply To House Bill 2?
At its heart, House Bill 2 was written to force transgendered people to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender at birth because they make those in their bathroom of choice uncomfortable; However, many opponents of the bill claim that it is unfair to force transgendered people to use a bathroom they are not comfortable with either. Supporters of the bill say that allowing transgendered people to use whichever bathroom facilities they identify with, will open the door for sex offenders to prey on victims much easier because they can just dress up as women (or men) and use that as an excuse to enter the bathroom.
Transgendered People Don’t Want MORE Attention
Most transgender people already know they have a target on their backs. They aren’t in the habit of broadcasting their differences to the world. They don’t want to open themselves up for even more ridicule or harassment from others. More than likely, they will be the ones going for the stalls anyways.
Stalls Exist For a Reason
Nearly all public restrooms have at least one stall or are single-occupant, meaning there is absolutely no reason why anyone would ever need to be naked outside of a stall, in front of anyone else. If you need to use the restroom, you go into a stall, shut the door, and continue on with your business. Or, you wait until one occupant is finished, shut the door, and go about your business.
Privacy Is Already Missing In Men’s Rooms
This one applies to the men specifically: If you are comfortable peeing at a urinal/trough in front of other strange men, how would it be any different if a person who identifies as male were to be next to you? Are you that self-conscious about your “packages”,even though most people would need to be right on top of you to even catch a glimpse?
Gender Reassignment Surgery and Hormone Replacement
Most transgendered people have the end goal of gender reassignment surgery. This means they will legally and biologically change their biological gender from birth to their gender of choice. In order for that to happen, months and months of hormone therapy needs to take place first. This means that men grow breasts, their facial hair disappears, their voices increase in tone, among a host of other changes. They no longer truly resemble a man. So it is possible to be next to a transgendered woman who looks like a woman, but is still biologically a man until the gender reassignment surgery. Unless you look up her skirt, there is no way of knowing.
Poor Enforcement Policies
Which brings me to my final point, which is enforcement. Are we all going to have to start carrying around ‘proof of gender’ cards alongside our drivers licenses? Are we going to have to allow guards in bathrooms to take upskirt shots to prove we aren’t “tucking”(gentlemen, you know what I am referring to)? Are we going to have to allow random stall checks to ensure we aren’t hiding anything? Cameras in the bathrooms?
Personally, I identify as a liberal. I think people should be able to live their lives as they see fit, so long as no one else is being endangered. I also happen to be in the majority of people who only uses a public restroom when needed; who goes in, gets the job done, and gets out. I have never been invited to one of these Potty Parties that everyone else apparently attends for hours on end in public restrooms, putting them at such grievous risk to these potential sex offenders. It is my personal belief that this bill is just another attack on the LGBTQ community as a whole by scared bigots with nothing else better to do (What national debt crisis? What threat from ISIS?) than attack those that are different from them.
To those that argue that sex offenders have easier access without this law, I saw this: THEY HAD ACCESS ALREADY, BEFORE THE LAW. And I hate to burst your bubble but most sex offenders are NOT transgendered people. In fact, the highest number of sex offenders fall into the white, male, heterosexual category. There have been more instances of a straight male sexually assaulting or approaching a person in a bathroom than there have been cases of transgendered people doing the same thing. There was no magic force field to keep them out of the opposite gender’s bathroom before, and there won’t be now, even with a law in place. Sex offenders and predators will strike, regardless of location; If they are willing to break one law, they are willing to break others.
The kicker? Just because a transgendered person is given permission to use the bathroom of his or her choice, it does not give them permission to sexually assault people. It does not give them automatic permission or legal protection to go about and sexually harass or assault someone. Harassment and assault are harassment and assault, regardless of location, victim, or perpetrator. The same punishment would apply regardless.
Furthermore, just in case any of you thought it might be a good idea to casually peek at the cracks in the stall door, that’s REALLY sexual assault. Voyeurism is very much so a sexual behavior and falls under sexual assault (Erin Andrews, anyone?) and you CAN be charged with it for doing so. How ironic would it be if you were charged with sexual assault while trying to prevent a possible sexual assault from a transgendered person? I bet you’d feel mighty stupid then, huh?
In any case, the bottom line is that there is no legal way to enforce this law and it is basically a waste of taxpayers’ money and promotes hatred and negativity toward a certain group of people. If we are going to be making changes to bathrooms, how about we start with mandatory cleanliness laws? Or laws requiring so many stalls in ladies’ rooms (yes please!)? Quite frankly, I don’t really think about who I’m peeing next to when I’m in the bathroom. If you spend so much time in the restroom, perhaps you should see a doctor.